Virender Sehwag, one of the closest mates of Virat Kohli, came down hard on team India’s skipper and took him on for the changes he made for the second Test against South Africa in Centurion.

“Watching Virat Kohli excluding Shikhar Dhawan for just one Test failure, and
Bhuvneshwar for no reason at all, Kohli should drop himself in the third Test at
Centurion, if he fails to perform in Centurion.  Excluding Bhuvneshwar wasn’t the right decision. Citing that Ishant might benefit with his height, Virat Kohli has hurt Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s self-confidence. They could have played Ishant in place of any other bowler. Bhuvneshwar performed
well in Cape Town and excluding him like this isn’t justified,” Sehwag told India TV.

There were three changes in the team. Firstly, there was a force in the form of Wriddhiman Saha, who sat out due to a hamstring injury. There was no debate on this.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar Alland Donald

The rest of the two changes, however, came up with under the scanner. Kohli, surprisingly, swapped Bhuvneshwar with Ishant quoting that Ishant had an advantage of height. If Kohli and team management were so eager to play Ishant, they could have welcomed in a place of any one-off Jasprit Bumrah or Mohammed Shami.

Bhuvneshwar has now developed the habit of taking early wickets and is a need for the team with the new ball. Team India might rue his exclusion after the end of the game.

Dhawan’s exclusion was a surprise, but team management cannot be solely blamed as Dhawan has a habit of failing in tough conditions. He has been dropped from playing XI in the past and was expected to be dropped.

He could have been given one more chance before tinkering with the opening combination, but there was a ready to go material in the form of KL Rahul. Hence, the skipper decided to do the honors right from the first chance as its a do or die game for the visitors.

A loss in this game would make this series a dead rubber while a draw – chances of which are minute – or a win would make the last Test of the series an interesting one.

On day 1, after losing out the first complete session, team India made a comeback in the last two sessions and restricted South Africa to 269/6. The last session of the day completely belonged to India where South Africa lost four wickets, two of which came in the form of run-outs.

Ravichandran Ashwin (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Ravichandran Ashwin emerged out as the pick of the bowlers as he scalped three wickets on day 1. India could have posted authority, but dropped chances brought the team a bit down.

Follow India’s tour to South Africa here: South Africa Vs India – Freedom Series

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